Home » Nov. – Dec. 2022 Mediterranean and Trans-Atlantic

Nov. – Dec. 2022 Mediterranean and Trans-Atlantic

  • Time does not always fly (4/19/2022)

    So now it’s mid April. Still another six months to go and two and half months (plus or minus) til we have to make a final decision (which, regrettably, involves parting with a lot of money). However it’s been planned and accounted for so I guess it’s ok. Sorta.

    The plane portion has been booked and it doesn’t need to be paid til the final due date. Thank goodness for small favors. But my how things have changed. Luggage is an extra cost, if you want to pick a preferred seat (aisle, window…whatever) that is an extra cost. I haven’t asked about breathing yet, but I am practicing holding my breath just in case.

    Two flights necessary to get there…first to Toronto, the next to Barcelona. I have a method I am going to try (again) on the leg to Barcelona to improve our comfort level. Surprisingly, it has worked in the past with very good results. I will keep you all apprised of the outcome good, bad or indifferent. Coming home from Ft. Lauderdale I will be doing it again. Who knows? I figure is MY TURN for some good fortune.

    Most of our excursions have been tentatively figured out. There are a number of ports that we have never been to before (YAY!) and a few that we have dropped anchor at in the past. The new ones are easy…everywhere to go is different. The ones from previous adventures…well…there are a Lot of different sites yet to be seen (at least by us). Tuscany, for instance, is one of those.

    Florence is the Tuscany region’s capital and is an area replete with Brunello…the only big fat Italian wine I have Not tried in its natural habitat. We have been north to Barolo country, and to the Amarone region so I’m two for two on my favorite big three. This time I aim to taste the third. There will be pictures and tasting notes to follow, rest assured. As we speak there are two wineries that we have all but confirmed viewings/tastings at.

    They have another customary item there as well, known as Bistecca alla Fiorentina (Steak Florentine). Although a common association of the term Florentine involves spinach, this has Nothing to do with that type of greenery. Rather it is both the area (Florence/Tuscany) and the cut. Just so we’re clear…the perfect cut is about two inches, can be up to three pounds, and pretty much a T-bone. It also comes from a specific breed of Tuscan cattle, called the Chianina. The price? It borders on one of those things you maybe don’t want to know. Typically about $80 USD per kilo. You should be shown it before you order it so you can approve and definitely ask how much it weighs.

    Oh yeah…one other thing. They do NOT do steak well done and steak Florentine is often served almost raw on the inside. As much as I like med-rare to rare steak, this one is simply too much for any one couple. Having said that, I suspect we will see it somewhere and if we do, you’ll see it here as well. 🙂

    The remaining six month hiatus before our departure seems like it is going to be a long, drawn out affair. Before our plane leaves, the veggies and plants will have been planted, harvested, some eaten, many canned and the gardens emptied out again. Thanksgiving will come and go as will Halloween. Given our indeterminate weather patterns we will likely even see the first snows of next winter. So time does not always fly, especially when waiting for some grand occurrence such as this.

    But, without out doubt, it will be grand indeed! Hope you are willing to hang on til then. 🙂

  • Just a little bit closer… (3/14/2022)

    So here we are at mid-March. The little calendar at the right (on our home page) suggests there are now 7 months to go Still seems like such a long time. Snow still covers the ground like a blanket but certainly doesn’t Feel like one. Our seedlings for our gardens (both flower and veg/herb) are starting to pop up from the mini containers we have them in. Leaning as they do, toward the sun from the window, searching for the same warmth that teases both them and us.

    This is the time of year that seems to drag on and on and on… It is bad enough when it’s simply a normal year. Spring is JUST around the corner, yet can’t seem to get here fast enough. The desire to get out in to the yard to do the planting and the tending is an itch that can’t quite be scratched.

    Now we couple that with emerging from this 2-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Hope remains strong that the very worst is behind us. Presuming that it is, then we also look forward to friends and relatives visiting for weekend (or weekDAY…we live the life of the retired!!) bbq’s and get-togethers.

    Add the fact that we have this fabulous adventure so tantalizingly close and the waiting becomes almost unbearable. This is likely the very first time in my 67 years that the month of November is actually something other than the inevitable beginnings of more snow.

    Yeah…we’ll wait. We’ll do all the things we normally do and enjoy pretty much every one of them. Even more so because we Should be able to do them with everyone dear to us. But everyday will also mean we’re just a little bit closer to getting on that plane…and then the ship!!

  • Our Itinerary (with luck) (2/18/2022)

    Should this wonderful trip actually come to fruition, this is a quick and dirty overview of where we will be. My endurance permitting, I will give more detailed information on a day-to-day basis. As most of you know, my keyboard has been known to take quite a beating from time to time. When I become boring or too long-winded, please do not hesitate to poke me in the ribs.

    Day 1 – 3 (maybe 4) – Fly to Barcelona, Spain and toodle around. There is Certainly no lack of engaging things to do, see, eat and drink. We have been before, but are certain we will be awestruck again.

    Ship day 1 – Leave Barcelona and head out into the Mediterranean Sea.

    Ship day 2 – Arrive Toulon, France 8 AM to 6 PM

    Ship day 3 – First of two stops in Florence, Italy 7 AM to 7 PM

    Ship day 4 and 5 – At sea

    Ship day 6 – Kotor, Montenegro 7 AM to 6 PM

    Ship day 7 – Dubrovnik, Croatia 7 AM to 6 PM

    Ship day 8 – Corfu, Greece 8AM to 10 PM

    Ship day 9 – At sea

    Ship day 10 – Sicily (Messina) Italy 8 AM to 6 PM

    Ship day 11 – Naples, Italy (for Capri and Pompeii) 7 AM to 7 PM

    Ship day 12 – Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy 5 AM to 7 PM

    Ship day 13 – Second of two stops in Florence, Italy 7 AM to 7 PM

    Ship day 14 – Genoa, Italy 7 AM to 7 PM

    Ship day 15 – Corsica (Ajaccio), France 7 AM to 5 PM

    Ship day 16 – At sea

    Ship day 17 – Gibraltar 9 AM to 6 PM

    Ship day 18 – At sea

    Ship day 19 – Santa Cruz De Tenerife, Spain 8 AM to 5 PM

    Ship day 20 – 26 At sea (or on a roller coaster, depending…)

    Ship day 27 – Ft. Lauderdale, USA 6 AM

    Fortunately the ship is big enough with a wide variety of things to do, so sea days will not be humdrum. The ability to simply sit and do…effectively nothing…is, in itself, a fabulous pastime. What to make for dinner? Not what to Make…what to HAVE as the Making and Cleaning Up After is Not our problem. Should I clean the room? No! It’s probably already done. Should I read a book? Sure…OR…go see live entertainment, go shopping, sit at the bar or poolside or in a lounge and talk with new friends. Go to an art auction (which I’m not allowed to do), or take a dance class. How you could possibly be hungry is beyond me, but IF you are, there is only about eleventy million things to snack on. Sea days can be as full or empty as you wish them to be.

    Are we anxious? Yes…it’s only been 2 years of planning, getting shot down, more planning, more disappointment. But this time it does feel different. Time will tell (only 8 more months of anticipation).

  • Maybe THIS time… (2/18/2022)

    It is possible, if not likely, that our loyal viewers have long since left this blog. Totally understandable given the fact there has been no updates for the past 2 years. For that I apologize but in my defense, dealing with a pandemic made travel well nigh impossible. Certainly cruising has been more than a little affected as has the entire travel industry.

    If you ARE still here (or at least re-visiting because you get emails advising you of updates) Thank You! This adventure may actually happen this time. We can only hope.

    Our cruise this time will be different once again. Actually a number of significant changes. First and foremost of which is we are travelling with long-time dear friends. While they are not new to cruising, they are new to Princess. The Regal Princess (our home-away-from-home this time) should give them a warm and impressive welcome. (If not, we’re going to have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do!)

    Another major difference is that it will be our (and their) first ocean crossing. Hmmm….

    7 days at sea.

    Across the Atlantic.

    In the beginning of December.

    Should be more than a little interesting. 🙂

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